Humpback Holler

Why Whales Leap High




Paul S. Wolf/Shutterstock.com

Humpback whales are famous for their prodigious leaps from the water. A recent paper published in Marine Mammal Science proposes that breaching the surface and making a big splash serves as an acoustic telegram to communicate with far-off pods. The phenomenon may be compared to a distant drumbeat, which probably carries farther than the whales’ signature songs.

Former University of Queensland marine biologist Ailbhe S. Kavanagh, Ph.D., and her colleagues observed 76 humpback groups off the coast of Australia for 200 hours between 2010 and 2011 and found that breaching is much more common when pods are at least 2.5 miles apart, with more local slapping of fins and flukes when fellow whales are nearby.


This article appears in the November 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Landfill Eulogy

Sweden’s waste-to-energy plants are so efficient that it has closed many landfills and actually imports trash to burn from other European countries.

Window Pain

As many as one billion migrating birds die annually when they collide with glass windows in the United States.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »This Month

Panel to Discuss State of Solar in Massachusetts

The fourth annual Massachusetts State of Solar will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., February 7.

New Options for Sleep Apnea

Patients can be fitted by Yasmin Chebbi, DMD, for a customized oral appliance to treat sleep apnea that is non-invasive, comfortable, well-fitting and covered by insurance.

Petco Only Major Retailer of Pet Food to Not Sell Food and Treats with Artificial Ingredients

Last month, Petco began removing dog and cat foods and treats with artificial ingredients, both from store shelves and e-commerce, with a commitment to complete the process by May.

Dentistry Enhanced by Use of Ozone

Dr. Amparo David is excited to offer what looks to be the future state-of-the- art treatment for her patients: ozone therapy.

Losing Steam on New Year's Resolutions?

The brain is hard-wired to resist change. It wants to relax and wallow in familiar routines, which is why it is so difficult to change a habit.

Local Dietitian Recognized as Healthy Waltham Hero

Healthy Waltham, a nonprofit organization, recognized Bridgitte Carroll, MS, RDN, last fall as a Healthy Waltham Hero.